Chelsea Clinton's Ex-Boyfriends Are Our BusinessS

A Daily Beast gallery of "Chelsea's Exes" (that both claims to feature her "5 great flames" and showcases the rumored dalliance with Ben Affleck) has the rest of us thanking the good lord our romantic pasts aren't up for scrutiny.

Even before the Internet, of course, even regular people were haunted by past relationships. My great-aunt, until her death at 101, carried a picture in her wallet of the girl her son didn't marry. Her son died in 1976. And her actual daughter-in-law bought her groceries for the next 30 years. My mom's eccentric college boyfriend, meanwhile, was a family legend - something she'll never live down in our house even though she stopped dating him when she was 19. And now, with photographic digital proof everywhere, the age of denial is well and truly over.

For celebrities - even unwilling ones like Chelsea Clinton - it's on a whole 'nother level. Their history is common knowledge and, like my great-aunt, the public can speculate and compare and bemoan and judge. Every polite encounter becomes a "reunion" and every missed connection a snub. Their exes, surely, occupy a uniquely odd place in their lives where they can't be forgotten completely. It must, in a word, blow.

But at least in Chelsea Clinton's case the good news is that the "great loves" (minus Affleck, and at least those we know about) -were respectable. High achievers all, good-looking guys with stable lives and not a hint of scandal. Heck, there's hardly even the material for a rehearsal-dinner roast. Most of us can just thank our lucky stars we're not in the public eye, being judged by past relationships. Because let's be honest: few have such an unblemished record.


Chelsea's Former Flames
[The Daily Beast]